Palladino reaches Derbyshire milestone

When Tony Palladino took his 250th first class wicket for Derbyshire at Canterbury this season, he became only the 42nd bowler to reach the landmark for the county.

Heritage Officer, David Griffin, examines Palladino’s achievement from a statistical perspective.

Just 49 bowlers have taken over 200 wickets for Derbyshire, and the list contains some of the finest players in the county’s history. The names of Jackson, Gladwin, Bestwick, Morgan, Mitchell, Smith, Copson, Rhodes, Miller, Malcolm, Pope, Mycroft, Cork, Hendrick, Mortensen, Dean and DeFreitas roll off the tongue of anyone with a knowledge of the history of the club, and – with a few honourable exceptions – the majority are fast or fast-medium bowlers.

Indeed, since Edwin Smith retired in 1971, just two slow bowlers have passed the 200-wicket mark in the ensuing 46 years, Fred Swarbrook (416) and Geoff Miller (632), compared to 22 fast and fast-medium bowlers.

In terms of numbers, those set by players like Les Jackson (1,670) and Cliff Gladwin (1,536) will never be matched, while five others also passed the 1,000-wicket mark – Bill Bestwick, Tommy Mitchell, Derek Morgan, Edwin Smith and Bill Copson.

As far as bowling averages are concerned, none of the other bowlers on the list come close to the legendary William ‘Bill’ Mycroft who took 544 wickets at the astonishing average of 11.71 between 1873 and 1885. For purposes of comparison, Les Jackson’s average of 17.11 is the next best after Mycroft.

Also of note is AB ‘Brian’ Jackson’s record – coming late to the first-class game in 1963, he only played six seasons for Derbyshire, taking 456 wickets at just 18.86.

Palladino’s achievements come in a different era compared to the feats achieved before the late 1970s when pitches were uncovered, and in the case of the 19th century, varied massively in quality from very good to appalling.

It’s therefore fairer to assess Palladino’s record in the light of the modern game and in terms of the 21st century. He sits in good company alongside Kevin Dean, Graeme Welch, Tim Groenewald and Mark Footitt as the only bowlers to pass the 200-wicket mark.

Palladino has already passed Groenewald and lies only one wicket behind Footitt. Welch stands 43 wickets ahead of him, while Dean ended his career with 398 victims for the county of his birth.

As a bowler, his role has changed since he first came into the side following his move from Essex in 2011. Initially, he enjoyed an opening partnership with Groenewald and then Footitt, bowling at a brisk fast-medium, almost always making early breakthroughs, and twice – in 2011 and 2012 – passing the 50-wicket mark.

Latterly, he has adopted the mantle of senior pro, bowling at a slightly reduced pace, but with immaculate control and setting the standard for the young quick bowlers around him. His appointment as player-coach at the start of 2017 offers him more opportunities to pass on his knowledge and skills.

His 56 wickets in 2012 were crucial in securing Derbyshire’s promotion from Division Two as champions, a year in which he also memorably took a hat-trick (pictured above) against Leicestershire at Grace Road. To date his 250 wickets have been taken at the respectable average of 27.38.

In total, Palladino now has 367 wickets in first class cricket, with another 82 in List A and Twenty20 cricket – so one more wicket in any format will take him to 450 in senior cricket. A first-class record of 400 wickets and 500 overall are targets just on the horizon for a very likeable, talented and hard-working cricketer.

The complete list of players with 200 or more first class wickets for Derbyshire is shown below.

FC 200 fc wickets
Player Timespan Wickets Average
HL JACKSON 1947-1963 1670 17.11
C GLADWIN 1939-1958 1536 17.67
W BESTWICK 1898-1925 1452 21.27
TB MITCHELL 1928-1939 1417 20.20
DC MORGAN 1950-1969 1216 25.10
E SMITH 1951-1971 1209 25.79
WH COPSON 1932-1950 1033 18.76
HJ RHODES 1953-1975 993 18.91
LF TOWNSEND 1922-1939 969 21.03
A MORTON 1903-1926 966 22.72
AR WARREN 1897-1920 918 24.57
SWA CADMAN 1900-1926 803 25.25
AEG RHODES 1937-1954 642 28.16
G MILLER 1973-1990 632 27.90
TS WORTHINGTON 1924-1947 624 28.79
DE MALCOLM 1984-1997 579 29.19
GH POPE 1933-1948 567 19.82
W MYCROFT 1873-1885 544 11.71
AV POPE 1930-1939 542 22.40
JJ HULME 1887-1903 508 24.81
DG CORK 1990-2003 505 25.76
AG SLATER 1911-1931 498 21.07
M HENDRICK 1969-1981 497 20.05
IR BUXTON 1959-1973 483 26.38
AB JACKSON 1963-1968 456 18.86
GA DAVIDSON 1886-1898 449 17.50
OH MORTENSEN 1983-1994 434 23.88
FW SWARBROOK 1967-1979 416 30.79
KJ DEAN 1996-2008 398 26.23
AE WARNER 1985-1996 365 31.37
TJP EYRE 1959-1972 359 28.70
A WARD 1966-1976 348 21.56
PE RUSSELL 1965-1985 339 30.53
PAJ DEFREITAS 1994-1999 335 25.64
CJ TUNNICLIFFE 1973-1983 319 32.17
GM LEE 1925-1933 313 25.56
PG NEWMAN 1980-1989 304 31.30
G WELCH 2001-2006 293 30.02
T FORRESTER 1902-1920 270 24.78
J HORSLEY 1914-1925 264 19.15
MHA FOOTITT 2010-2015 251 25.05
AP PALLADINO 2011- 250 27.38
DB CARR 1946-1963 232 33.56
H STORER 1920-1936 232 32.43
TD GROENEWALD 2009-2014 229 29.00
MA HOLDING 1983-1989 224 24.57
SJ BASE 1988-1999 221 32.27
W STORER 1887-1905 214 33.68
RJ FINNEY 1982-1988 202 31.17

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